examples of people who have asked for monetary help online who were lying?
January 30, 2012 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone point me to write-ups of people asking online for donations for "my medical bills" or "a sick friend" which turned out to be lies?

There is currently a tumblr post going around about someone's "friend" who is in dire need of money for medical expenses. I'm wary, since there have been several online scams where someone is in desperate financial straits due to hospital bills, except that they're totally not.

I'd like to help if it's true, but I want to point to a few examples of how this kind of thing could easily be a scam, since it's happened several times before.

I've done some googling, but I'm coming up empty (embarrassingly--this should be an easy find).
posted by tzikeh to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Well, there is this AskMe.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:36 PM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately, that example was never proven to be a scam. I meant the kind that are discovered to be lies, not assumed to be lies. I should have specified.
posted by tzikeh at 7:40 PM on January 30, 2012

Also, Snopes has a whole section on medical appeal scams.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:41 PM on January 30, 2012

One term for this sort of scam is "pseuicide". There are several examples of people who've been exposed over at Fandom Wank.
posted by vorfeed at 7:42 PM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

There was the Marissa's Bunny iPad kerfuffle. Not exactly the same thing but Marissa's whole existence was called into question.
posted by gingerest at 7:44 PM on January 30, 2012

His thoughts were red thoughts -- none of those at Snopes were asking for donations; they were all "X Company will send X dollars/cents if you forward this email."
posted by tzikeh at 7:44 PM on January 30, 2012

Also, I'd be remiss not to mention the nonexistent Kaycee Nicole -- metafilter members had a hand in exposing this one.
posted by vorfeed at 7:48 PM on January 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

There's also MetaFilter's Own u.n. owen.
posted by gerryblog at 8:00 PM on January 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

I think the u.n. owen saga actually ended here.
posted by gerryblog at 8:10 PM on January 30, 2012

Here's a newspaper article giving an overview of some cancer scams.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:13 PM on January 30, 2012

Sidhedevil -- none of those were online cases.

gerryblog -- u.n. owen, as far as I can tell, didn't *ask* for money. Again, I was unclear. I meant that the asker was the liar, regardless of whether they were asking for money for themselves or for "a friend."
posted by tzikeh at 8:22 PM on January 30, 2012

Ashley Kirilow, Jessica Ann Leeder, and others.
posted by gingerest at 8:31 PM on January 30, 2012

Brookelyn Walters solicited funds online (that's how I found that article, because I remembered the case). Kristen Clougherty also solicited funds online, though the majority of the fundraising for her non-cancer was in person and through organizations.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:50 PM on January 30, 2012

huh - thanks; I must not have engaged my reading comprehension. ;)
posted by tzikeh at 8:54 PM on January 30, 2012

No, as I reread the article, I see that they didn't talk about Walters's online solicitations. My error! I only knew about it because I knew about it, if that makes any sense.

This is a favorite online solicitation scam saga, which somehow didn't make it into the F_W Wiki.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:08 PM on January 30, 2012

This is often a component of a romance scam.

Here are some examples of those.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:21 PM on January 30, 2012

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